A story in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the presence of a new super PAC in the recall race for governor, but unlike the other super PACs funded predominantly from out-of-state interests, this one was not created to support Governor Scott Walker. The new organization calls itself “Wisconsin for Falk.” Guess which candidate it supports.
Regrettably, as well intentioned as Wisconsin for Falk no doubt is, the impact it will have on the recall election will almost certainly be to undermine, not bolster, the chances of successfully replacing Scott Walker as governor. By funneling out-of-state special interest money to support Kathleen Falk’s campaign, Wisconsin for Falk muddies what had been absolutely crystal clear waters in the recall effort. Up until now, the only beneficiary of ominous super PAC support was Governor Scott Walker. That can no longer be said, and because of that, Kathy Falk has been forced to cede what could have been a powerful strategic advantage, namely the complete rejection of support from dubious organizations that the American public overwhelmingly rejects. In fact, a recent poll found that nearly 70% of the public thought that super PACs ought to be outlawed.
The folks running Wisconsin for Falk will no doubt argue they were only reacting to the sums being raised from wealthy individual and corporate interests whose agenda Governor Walker so myopically advanced. But of course, it is the whole corrupt system of unlimited fundraising, too often from secret sources, as well as the destructive policies they produce, that is being so clearly rejected by working families across our state. This type of unlimited, undisclosed spending doesn’t just corrupt the process – it oftentimes corrupts the policy results. Because of that, Wisconsin for Falk has done a great disservice to candidate Falk, with her consent or not.
The same mistaken approach has been adopted by President Obama’s campaign at the federal level, also in response to the hundreds of millions being raised by wealthy individual and corporate interests on behalf of right-wing presidential candidates. And here again, the tactic will only hurt the President'sreelection chances.
Democrats and progressive candidates do themselves no favors by adopting the preferred tactic of the Koch brothers. By doing so, they throw away a tremendous advantage they have with voters, and instead walk a path that has only led to policies at odds with the fundamental principles of our state.